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33

Banking existed in the era of the Romans and earlier. In ancient Greece and Asia Minor temples served as a sanctuary where individuals could make deposits for safekeeping. This practice continued with the Romans (see this article titled "Temple Banking In Rome"). For instance, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was the largest depository in Asia and served as ...


28

Frederick II the Great, king IN Prussia 1740–1786 used to counterfeit currency of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (PLC) on a large scale, for profit and to economically weaken Polish state. Officially PLC wasn't at war with Prussia but the only reason that this and other hostile activities of Frederick the Great were unanswered by PLC was the weakness of ...


28

The United States abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971. Since then it has been using fiat money, which is not backed by any commodity. It derives its value solely from government authority. This is sometimes also known as a "managed currency standard".


21

The ORIGINAL Roman Republic (prior to the Punic Wars) was a prosperous, self-sufficient economy based on affluent, independent, and relatively free yeoman farmers enjoying a steady rate of technological advances. Because of this, Rome had a relatively representative government (the "veto" was originally a device to protect the common people). One can argue ...


21

I think the Great Depression was quite irrelevant for Germany in 1939 similarly to for other countries that took measures at state regulation. As for the income, Germany was a well-developed industrial country with advanced technology. It was a pioneering country at chemistry, electrical engineering, machine-tool construction, railroads and transportation, ...


21

The US government alleges that this has occurred - see Superdollars. Very high quality counterfeit $100 bills flooded the US market. Although it may be that these were merely a way that the responsible institution was funding operations, it is commonly believed that these were also intended to cause inflation within the US by increasing the money supply. I ...


19

Tally sticks were credit-based money used by the King of England from roughly the XIII to the XIX century. The idea was quite simple: in a credit based system, you have to find a way to represent the credit which is uncounterfeitable and cheap to produce. It also had to have no value as an object, otherwise you can have a market for the object rather than ...


19

Seems like the questioner was asking for a bit more than just an idea of conversion rates, so here is some background on how the pre-decimal currency worked. 4 farthings = one penny 2 halfpennies = one penny tuppence = colloquial two pence thruppence = colloquial three pence 240 pence in one pound 6 pence = sixpence (aka a Tanner), or half a shilling. ...


18

During the era when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean sea and surrounding territories (cerca 1550 - 300 B.C.), salt was indeed a highly precious commodity. After this, the Romans became the dominant force in the Mediterranean, though the value of salt did not immediately decline by any means. Whether it was pound-for-pound as valuable as gold, I think ...


16

To begin, the following passage from Britain, the Commonwealth and the End of Empire by Dr John Darwin discusses the "staggering blow" Great Britain felt after granting independence to India. ... Repairing Britain The huge sense of relief at a more or less dignified exit, and much platitudinous rhetoric, disguised the fact that the end of ...


16

Several historians/economists hold several factors responsible. I know two works that discuss this in great depth: The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith. Nation, State and the Industrial Revolution: The Visible Hand, Lars Magnusson. Personally, I believe the following factors played a crucial role: Wars: Britain's isolation from continental Europe meant ...


15

During world war 2 , Germany carried out Operation Bernhard , one of the biggest currency counterfeit attempt in history , to destabilize the economy of Britain and the United States. The operation was named after(and started by) NSDAP member and SS Major Bernhard Krüger , who led the operation from a segregated factory built at Sachsenhausen concentration ...


14

Please don't use CPI. CPI only measures consumption bundles for wage workers. If you want to measure inflation you need to ask why you're equating the value of money over time. www.measuringworth.com goes into this, in great detail, with multiple theoretical papers and multiple measuring systems for US inflation. what amount of modern currency would ...


13

Up front, imho GDP and "like a year" is not really suited for objective comparing of historic economic crises, which run on time scales of at least several years or a decade, smaller time scales are better called economic fluctuations. Comparing economic crises in different historical epochs, national and world-wide ones, by proportional (%) GDP reduction ...


13

The effect of WWI on the US economy was considerable. There are two effects that the war had on the US economy: short term, and long term. For the short term effect the US economy grew in the buildup to the war and during its prosecution. From 1915 the US made tons of loans to the UK to help them in their war effort. It is not a stretch to say that WWI was ...


13

Bernanke has sort of answered this question himself, in his Remarks On Milton Friedman's Ninetieth Birthday. Friedman argued that the depression was basically caused by the Fed's contractionary monetary policy, and Bernanke seems to be in broad agreement with him, going so far as to say: Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official ...


12

I don't think that gold and salt ever were equal in value, that's an exaggeration. Salt was very valuable however, particularly because of its use for conservation - valuable enough to make one very rich. This allowed cities that sold salt (e.g. Lüneburg) to get very wealthy and influential. The Wieliczka salt mine supposedly was responsible for one third of ...


12

I will not interpret intercontinental in modern terms but rather view it as trade among distinct civilisations. Such trade dates back to Ancient Egyptian civilisations, Babylonians and Indus Valley Civilisation. Proofs exists in form of archeological excavations of, for example, potteries of Indus Civilisation in Iran and other parts of central Asia. The ...


12

This is an addition to Mike Rodney's answer. The Twelve Tables, traditionally written in 450 BC, were some of Rome's most ancient laws. The majority of Table III deals with banking. In particular Law I says that bankers can't steal deposits; Law II forbids usury†; Laws V through X concern treatment of delinquent debtors. So banking was common enough 2500 ...


11

There were a few successful instances of mercantilism by countries that started behind others, and needed to "catch up." These include Russia under Peter the Great in the 18th century, and later, under Count Witte early in the 20th century. Another example was Japan after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and again, right after World War II. China may be ...


11

The Economist illustrated the History of World GDP by way of the intriguing graphic below. The mismanagement of the Chinese Qing empire between the years of 1820 and 1913 is plain to see. Similarly, assuming that colonialism satisfies the OP's criteria, the difference in percentage GDP of (British) India between 1700 and 1940 is simply astounding.


11

Slaves cost around 500 denarii at the time of Augustus - fluctuated around that price though depending on the wars.They were trained everyday and expected to live past one or two fights. Wild animals (untrained) were bought for the express purpose of being slaughtered, thus they would be purchased for much less. However, as they are rare they would obviously ...


11

Roger Babson is often credited with predicting the 1929 crash. See, for example, http://www.newswise.com/articles/the-man-who-predicted-the-crash-of-29 Having worked in the markets through several more recent crashes, I suspect that there may have been a number of people lamenting high asset prices in 1929, but Babson happened to say so in the press just ...


11

I'm going to take this a perhaps unexpected direction, Connections-style. Everything else I see in the other answers is IMHO just an effect (although RI Swamp Yankee comes close). What did England have that the rest of Europe didn't that ultimately caused it to become the first center of industrialization? Sheep. England, particularly the Scottish ...


11

FDR was not the first president to come to power during a financial "panic" (aka: Recession or Depression). However, he was the first one after the advent of modern economics, and he was listening to the new economists. Economically, banning private holding of gold had the effect of propping up the US currency. Normally in hard times (and I think 1933 ...


11

You firstly have to know that the major reasons her predecessors didn't win their battle against the trade unions was that they never actually had a battle. Her immediate predecessors were Labour, and hence did not battle the unions as both the Labour party and the unions were a part of the same workers movement and to some extent was made up of the same ...


11

Good question with several answers. First a nod to Lennart for pointing out that Germany grew just like France and Britain and the USA, so a certain amount of "a rising tide floats all boats." However there were some factors that advantaged Germany more than the others: Highly educated, savings-minded workforce whose population losses were instantly ...


10

Personally, I don't buy it. If they had been really based on plunder, the sensible thing to do would have been to leave the destitute Celts and Germans alone, and go wipe out the Persians. They had multiple opportunities to do that. If anything, the Romans tried to do the opposite. There are oodles of theories for the decline of the Roman Empire. The nicest ...


10

This information turned out surprisingly easy to find. The Boston Tea Party museum website lists the following facts: 342 chests on three ships 92,000 pounds (roughly 46 tons) reported damage £9,659 equivalent to $1,700,000 in todays money I would be very careful with the total weight stated, particularly because the one chest I could find definitely ...



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